Leadership and the Art of Struggle at MNODN’s monthly program

Thank you, Steven Snyder, Ph.D., for a wonderful presentation on Leadership and the Art of Struggle:  A New Conversation about Leadership at MNODN’s monthly program!

On Thursday, November 7th Steven shared from his book examples of personal "struggle" stories he uncovered through his extensive research for his book Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity.  These stories were engaging and enlightening. Through them, he illustrated leadership as “a struggle by flawed human beings to make some important human values real and effective in the world as it is.*” You challenge leaders and those they work with to reconsider the negative connotations of "struggle" and the desire to avoid or automatically speed through it without reflection.

Some insights that Steven shared with those of us in attendance:

Struggle is a learning opportunity – an art to be mastered.  We aren’t alone, no human is perfect, struggle leads to growth, we have opportunities to go beyond what and how to why we struggle, and we can shift our conversations.    

The elements of a struggle is that a change occurs.  This creates tension.  We are then out of balance. Steven provided a tool to think about these elements of struggle through the development of a tension map.  This map gives a visual representation of the current struggle (low to high).  You'll have to read the book to learn more.

If I had one take away from Steven’s presentation is that we must all reflect on our struggle and ask ourselves, where am I out of balance?  Once we can determine the nature of our disequilibrium we can then figure out what we could do to ground ourselves, to find new pathways to deal with any situation or issue and find that adaptive energy to move through the struggle.

Thank you Steve for generous gift of your book to all attendees!  What a great bonus to end an evening of rich conversation and story telling and now a new lens from which to view struggle.  For more information, go to Steven’s Website at http://www.snyderleadership.com/  or to learn more about his book Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity.

Jan Williams, PMP, PHR
Marketing and Communications Co-Chair

* Quote attributed to Joe Badaracco